Wednesday, October 19, 2016

2015 Travel Recap: Niagara Falls

Well, I'm ashamed to say that 2016 has somehow surpassed me dawdling along with my travel recaps from last year and our trip to Cleveland and Niagara Falls actually happened over a year ago, at the beginning of October 2015. Goodness, it's hard to believe it's been that long -- and what a year it's been!

If you're interested, you can see posts about the rest of our fun year of travels here:
New York City
Bristol Race, the Biltmore and the Smokies
Colorado Part 1: Lost Lake and Pikes Peak
Colorado Part 2: Rocky Mountain National Park
Cleveland: Cuyahoga National Park and "Christmas Story" House
Next up: back to the Smoky Mountains in October 2015


At the beginning of October last year, we took a long weekend getaway to Cleveland and Niagara Falls, with a stop in Buffalo on the way home to sample the fare at the restaurant that claims to have created buffalo chicken wings. Cleveland was already on the to-do list since it was our last year in Ohio and we hadn't been yet, and I figured we might as well jaunt over to the Falls because who knows when we'll be in that part of the country again. I'm so glad we did... I had never given Niagara Falls all that much consideration before, but I was pleasantly surprised -- the falls were so very stunning in person!

American Falls with Bridal Veil Falls off to the far right of the photo. Bridal Veil Falls is the waterfall you walk next to on the famous Cave of the Winds excursion (which we did, and which was very wet, and which you'll see below).

Another view of American Falls during the day. I was shocked by the sheer volume and power of the water.

There's a light show at night!

On our second day, we headed over the bridge to Canada (I was vaguely disappointed not to have my passport stamped). It's true what everyone says -- the Canadian side is nicer in every way. The Canadian part of the waterfall (Horseshoe Falls) is even more impressive, and the area is much cleaner and more nicely maintained.

That mist is no joke!

Jarrod looks like the Marshmallow Man with this windblown poncho!

And here we are getting drenched, and then drenched some more. The top two photos with the blue ponchos are from the Maid of the Mist boat tour, which takes visitors right up to both the American and Canadian falls for an up-close-and-personal encounter with an insane amount of gushing water and resulting mist.

The yellow ponchos are from Cave of the Winds, where we donned special rubber sandals and walked up a maze of wooden stairs and platforms alongside Bridal Veil Falls. It's smaller, but let me tell you, it's formidable. Every part of me that wasn't completely and totally covered with my poncho (which billowed out constantly from the wind created by the falls) and most of me that was covered was absolutely soaked with ice-cold water. It was an entirely miserable/amazing experience.

You can't quite tell in the photo, but this was basically like standing in a downpour. I would definitely recommend Cave of the Winds, but be prepared to be wet and cold!

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